An Accidentally Perfect Day

What I'm learning most in my time in New York City is to embrace the mix-ups and mistakes, because apart from a few sketchy places, wherever you end up... You'll find something worth the trip! I've also learned that if you happen to end up in a sketchy place just act like you know what you're doing and get out of there quick! 
We left the house with a plan, but somehow lost our way and ended up on the wrong side of the East River, in Brooklyn. I had read about the Brooklyn Bridge Park and how it's worth seeing and I'm going to have to agree!! The views of the river and skyline are the absolute best I've seen! And the cherry on top was a distant view of the Statue of Liberty! It was my first view of her and I was beyond excited! (I can't wait to get a closer view sometime!!) on the pier they have a few little cafes and an ice cream place! There are a zillion benches and there were a ton of families with little ones watching the boats go by! I can see Gunner loving that next spring! 
After taking just about a million pictures (and offering to take a picture for a couple who made out for 5 min while I struggled to work their foreign camera...) we wandered through the tree shaded path! I can't get enough of the mixture of urban and natural! We walked down this little path and you'd never have known we were in the middle of New York City! It was beautiful and there were a few hints of leaves changing which just heightened my excitement for our first real fall in a few years! 
Once done exploring we had to figure out how to get back to Manhattan and we had a few choices, East River Ferry, the subway, or walk the Brooklyn Bridge! I mean how could we turn that down? It's about a mile and they have this amazing raised path with even more amazing views of the city! There is also a bike path which I think sounds amazing and I'm dying to do that next time we go! 
Once back in Manhattan we made our way to the new One World Trade Center, which was our original plan! This was our first time in Lower Manhattan and I'd say the pace and energy is even wilder than midtown! After accidently crashing a wedding, admiring some bizarre statues, and being stopped by the NYPD... because my baby is too cute, we entered the financial district.

As we approached the new tower I got a little sentimental. It made the attacks on September 11th feel more personal all of the sudden. However, for me, being down there I felt the power and patriotism more than saddness or fear. Looking up at this new beautiful tower was empowering! It is saying to the world, "You can't hold us back, you can't break us. We will always come back stronger!" We didn't go to the memorial because apparently you reserve the free tickets online and/or wait in a zillion hour line. So we decided to do that when we have visitors or on a day that doesn't start off with an accidental three hour detour! :) But if just wandering around the new tower can bring out such emotion I'm a little scared I won't be able to hold it together at the memorial. 

As we wandered we found ourselves at the edge of the Hudson River! (For those of you who don't know NYC geography, manhattan is bordered by two rivers, the East River and the Hudson River) which meant we had wandered all the way across lower manhattan! I'm seriously wishing I had a pedometer right now because I'm sure we set a new record for miles walked! After admiring the view of the Hudson and New Jersey, we decided to make our way to Little Italy for some grub! 
We walked another mile or so through SoHo and TriBeCa and wound up on the famously delicious Mulberry Street! It was amazing! Almost everything I'd imagined! I'd like to go back when we have more time to explore! As you walk down the street the hosts of the restaurants try to lure you into their place. They tell you , "For your beautiful family we have the most perfect table! Best table in town!" (But in an Italian, fake or not, accent) Gunner was incredibly amused by one man who was rather persistent! Gunner is usually a happy baby but he was full on giggling listening to this man talk! I was dying! 
Once we picked a place we ordered our classic favorites to see if it was really that much better. SPOILER ALERT: it was. Omg. It was beyond delicious. We had Mozzerlla en Corozza(fried Mozzerella), Spaghetti Carbonara, and Gnochi with Tomato Sauce and mozzerella. It was seriously to die for, but we were determined to not get too full because we had walked past a gelato place with a banner that said "Best Canoli's on Planet Earth". Okay... Sounds like my kind of place. So we quickly ordered and downed a dessert at the restaurant, Torta di Ricotta, and headed for the gelato shop. 
I know what you're thinking, TWO DESSERTS? Who are you? But I have a confession. We had three. I couldn't, in my right mind, go to a gelato shop in LITTLE ITALY and not get gelato... But I also couldn't NOT get the best cannoli on Planet Earth. So we got both! That makes for three desserts (or as I like to call them "zertz") but like I said we walked 100 miles so I still felt good about it! 
By the time we finished eating it was time to find our way home and as usual our limited experience with  MTA threw us off! The bus we were going to take wasn't running anymore and we had to get to the subway, which would have been fine except the subway stop is a mile from home, whereas the bus would have dropped us steps from our door.  But when you've walk a thousand miles, what's one more.............. 

Anyways we finally made it home with big hopes of climbing directly to bed, do not pass go, do not collect a hundred dollars, but after a full day strapped in his stroller, Gunner was ready to play! So we put on a movie and Zack and I laid on the ground while Gunner climbed on us and chewed on us and giggled at us. It was maybe my favorite part of an amazing day! If you don't follow Zack on Instagram (@zachariasdpx) you need to because he posted the cutest video of Gunner last night! 

Someone asked me yesterday if I thought Gunner would remember all of this and I said probably not, but I like to think it is somehow shaping him into an adventurous, confident, resilient person! He probably won't remember riding on his dad's shoulders as we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, but I hope that somehow this city becomes part of who he is! 
It was another blessed and beautiful day! I'm so excited for fall and can't wait for our next adventure!!

Love and Miss you guys! 

P.S. As always, this is an open invitation!! Come visit us! When will you have another chance for free accommodations in NYC? 

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